Evaluating the Findings of the IMPACT-C Randomized Clinical Trial to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage in Skilled Nursing Facilities.
JAMA internal medicine. 2022;(3):324-331
IMPORTANCE Identifying successful strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccination among skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents and staff is integral to preventing future outbreaks in a continually overwhelmed system. OBJECTIVE To determine whether a multicomponent vaccine campaign would increase vaccine rates among SNF residents and staff. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This was a cluster randomized trial with a rapid timeline (December 2020-March 2021) coinciding with the Pharmacy Partnership Program (PPP). It included 133 SNFs in 4 health care systems across 16 states: 63 and 70 facilities in the intervention and control arms, respectively, and participants included 7496 long-stay residents (>100 days) and 17 963 staff. INTERVENTIONS Multicomponent interventions were introduced at the facility level that included: (1) educational material and electronic messaging for staff; (2) town hall meetings with frontline staff (nurses, nurse aides, dietary, housekeeping); (3) messaging from community leaders; (4) gifts (eg, T-shirts) with socially concerned messaging; (5) use of a specialist to facilitate consent with residents' proxies; and (6) funds for additional COVID-19 testing of staff/residents. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcomes of this study were the proportion of residents (from electronic medical records) and staff (from facility logs) who received a COVID-19 vaccine (any), examined as 2 separate outcomes. Mixed-effects generalized linear models with a binomial distribution were used to compare outcomes between arms, using intent-to-treat approach. Race was examined as an effect modifier in the resident outcome model. RESULTS Most facilities were for-profit (95; 71.4%), and 1973 (26.3%) of residents were Black. Among residents, 82.5% (95% CI, 81.2%-83.7%) were vaccinated in the intervention arm, compared with 79.8% (95% CI, 78.5%-81.0%) in the usual care arm (marginal difference 0.8%; 95% CI, -1.9% to 3.7%). Among staff, 49.5% (95% CI, 48.4%-50.6%) were vaccinated in the intervention arm, compared with 47.9% (95% CI, 46.9%-48.9%) in usual care arm (marginal difference: -0.4%; 95% CI, -4.2% to 3.1%). There was no association of race with the outcome among residents. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE A multicomponent vaccine campaign did not have a significant effect on vaccination rates among SNF residents or staff. Among residents, vaccination rates were high. However, half the staff remained unvaccinated despite these efforts. Vaccination campaigns to target SNF staff will likely need to use additional approaches. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04732819.
Physical activity and nutrition guidelines to help with the fight against COVID-19.
Journal of sports sciences. 2021;(1):101-107
As the world is witnessing the epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019, emerging genetics and clinical pieces of evidence suggest a similar immunopathology to those of severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus and consequently being largely inactive is associated with unintended consequences. These can actually enhance the infection risk and exacerbate poor health conditions including impaired immune function. Physical activity is a feasible way of improving health, particularly physical and mental health in a time of social isolation. However, people with certain health conditions in these circumstances may need a special physical activity programme in addition to any exercise they may already be performing via online programmes. This review aims to provide practical guidelines during the COVID-19 quarantine period. We suggest performing aerobic, resistance training, respiratory muscle training and yoga in the healthy, and in those with upper respiratory tract illness, patients with lower respiratory tract illness should be restricted to respiratory muscle training and yoga. In addition, vitamins D and C, omega-3 fatty acids, and regular consumption of fruit and vegetables might be considered as nutritional aids to support the immune system in those affected by COVID-19.
South Africa's Health Promotion Levy: Excise tax findings and equity potential.
Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 2021;(9):e13301
In 2016, the South African government proposed a 20% sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax. Protracted consultations with beverage manufacturers and the sugar industry followed. This resulted in a lower sugar-based beverage tax, the Health Promotion Levy (HPL), of approximately 10% coming into effect in April 2018. We provide a synthesis of findings until April 2021. Studies show that despite the lower rate, purchases of unhealthy SSBs and sugar intake consumption from SSBs fell. There were greater reductions in SSB purchases among both lower socioeconomic groups and in subpopulations with higher SSB consumption. These subpopulations bear larger burdens from obesity and related diseases, suggesting that this policy improves health equity. The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted food and nutritional security. Increased pandemic mortality among people with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension highlight the importance of intersectoral public health disease-prevention policies like the HPL, which should be strengthened.
Community-Academic Partnerships to Promote Health Literacy and Address Social Needs Among Low-Income Families During COVID-19.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior. 2021;(1):75-78
Brighter Bites is a school-based health promotion program that delivers fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and their families across 6 locations in the US. This article provides a perspective on how, despite coronavirus disease 2019-related school closures, Brighter Bites pivoted rapidly to collaborate with medical and public health institutions to improve health and food literacy among their families. Through these partnerships, Brighter Bites was able to rapidly provide accurate, evidence-based information related to coronavirus disease 2019 and other social needs, including food, housing, transportation, and access to health care, to help fill a needed gap in vulnerable communities.
Bernardino Ramazzini's De Morbis Artificum Diatriba on Workers' Health-the Birth of a New Discipline.
Journal of UOEH. 2021;(3):341-348
This paper provides a picture of the observations made over three hundred years ago by Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714) in light of current topical issues ranging from health problems related to work and lifestyle habits to the current burdensome COVID-19 pandemic. The main aspects of his work consist of descriptions of disorders linked to environmental risks, suggestions for measures for risk protection, and recommendations for healthy living. This paper focuses on Ramazzini's most relevant achievements by (1) analyzing the episodes that stimulated the composition of his main work and highlighting some observations on which current epidemiological and toxicological studies are based; (2) reviewing his work showing not only the systematic descriptions of work-related illnesses caused by occupational factors but also his sound etiological and physiopathological contributions to the field of occupational lung diseases, breast cancer, and environmental disorders; and (3) remarking on his main observations in the fields of risk prevention and health promotion, also in the light of some highly topical issues related to unhealthy lifestyle habits and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evaluation of a community-based mobile video breastfeeding intervention in Khayelitsha, South Africa: The Philani MOVIE cluster-randomized controlled trial.
PLoS medicine. 2021;(9):e1003744
BACKGROUND In South Africa, breastfeeding promotion is a national health priority. Regular perinatal home visits by community health workers (CHWs) have helped promote exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in underresourced settings. Innovative, digital approaches including mobile video content have also shown promise, especially as access to mobile technology increases among CHWs. We measured the effects of an animated, mobile video series, the Philani MObile Video Intervention for Exclusive breastfeeding (MOVIE), delivered by a cadre of CHWs ("mentor mothers"). METHODS AND FINDINGS We conducted a stratified, cluster-randomized controlled trial from November 2018 to March 2020 in Khayelitsha, South Africa. The trial was conducted in collaboration with the Philani Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Trust, a nongovernmental community health organization. We quantified the effect of the MOVIE intervention on EBF at 1 and 5 months (primary outcomes), and on other infant feeding practices and maternal knowledge (secondary outcomes). We randomized 1,502 pregnant women in 84 clusters 1:1 to 2 study arms. Participants' median age was 26 years, 36.9% had completed secondary school, and 18.3% were employed. Mentor mothers in the video intervention arm provided standard-of-care counseling plus the MOVIE intervention; mentor mothers in the control arm provided standard of care only. Within the causal impact evaluation, we nested a mixed-methods performance evaluation measuring mentor mothers' time use and eliciting their subjective experiences through in-depth interviews. At both points of follow-up, we observed no statistically significant differences between the video intervention and the control arm with regard to EBF rates and other infant feeding practices [EBF in the last 24 hours at 1 month: RR 0.93 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.01, P = 0.091); EBF in the last 24 hours at 5 months: RR 0.90 (95% CI 0.77 to 1.04, P = 0.152)]. We observed a small, but significant improvement in maternal knowledge at the 1-month follow-up, but not at the 5-month follow-up. The interpretation of the results from this causal impact evaluation changes when we consider the results of the nested mixed-methods performance evaluation. The mean time spent per home visit was similar across study arms, but the intervention group spent approximately 40% of their visit time viewing videos. The absence of difference in effects on primary and secondary endpoints implies that, for the same time investment, the video intervention was as effective as face-to-face counseling with a mentor mother. The videos were also highly valued by mentor mothers and participants. Study limitations include a high loss to follow-up at 5 months after premature termination of the trial due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in mentor mother service demarcations. CONCLUSIONS This trial measured the effect of a video-based, mobile health (mHealth) intervention, delivered by CHWs during home visits in an underresourced setting. The videos replaced about two-fifths of CHWs' direct engagement time with participants in the intervention arm. The similar outcomes in the 2 study arms thus suggest that the videos were as effective as face-to-face counselling, when CHWs used them to replace a portion of that counselling. Where CHWs are scarce, mHealth video interventions could be a feasible and practical solution, supporting the delivery and scaling of community health promotion services. TRIAL REGISTRATION The study and its outcomes were registered at clinicaltrials.gov (#NCT03688217) on September 27, 2018.
Protocol for a partially nested randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the scleroderma patient-centered intervention network COVID-19 home-isolation activities together (SPIN-CHAT) program to reduce anxiety among at-risk scleroderma patients.
Journal of psychosomatic research. 2020;:110132
OBJECTIVE Contagious disease outbreaks and related restrictions can lead to negative psychological outcomes, particularly in vulnerable populations at risk due to pre-existing medical conditions. No randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have tested interventions to reduce mental health consequences of contagious disease outbreaks. The primary objective of the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network COVID-19 Home-isolation Activities Together (SPIN-CHAT) Trial is to evaluate the effect of a videoconference-based program on symptoms of anxiety. Secondary objectives include evaluating effects on symptoms of depression, stress, loneliness, boredom, physical activity, and social interaction. METHODS The SPIN-CHAT Trial is a pragmatic RCT that will be conducted using the SPIN-COVID-19 Cohort, a sub-cohort of the SPIN Cohort. Eligible participants will be SPIN-COVID-19 Cohort participants without a positive COVID-19 test, with at least mild anxiety (PROMIS Anxiety 4a v1.0 T-score ≥ 55), not working from home, and not receiving current counselling or psychotherapy. We will randomly assign 162 participants to intervention groups of 7 to 10 participants each or waitlist control. We will use a partially nested RCT design to reflect dependence between individuals in training groups but not in the waitlist control. The SPIN-CHAT Program includes activity engagement, education on strategies to support mental health, and mutual participant support. Intervention participants will receive the 4-week (3 sessions per week) SPIN-CHAT Program via videoconference. The primary outcome is PROMIS Anxiety 4a score immediately post-intervention. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION The SPIN-CHAT Trial will test whether a brief videoconference-based intervention will improve mental health outcomes among at-risk individuals during contagious disease outbreak.